It seems that if Google sneezes the tech blogosphere comes rushing with the kleenex and then proceeds to write ad naseum about the sneeze and really this +1 button… it’s a sneezer.
I mean really people when we’re on Facebook the last thing we consider it to be is a search engine (regardless of how much they would like you to think so), and the last thing I think of when I go to Google is that all my friends are their sharing their awesome search results with me. In fact I couldn’t careless what my friends search results were because as it is the majority of the time the search results suck.
So the idea that just because the results now have some fancy looking button with a +1 next to them is going to make those results any more valuable is just silly. The only ones that the +1 buttons are going to benefit in the long run are advertisers.
Not to mention that the value add for the user is more than just a little bit murky. As Mike Melanson at ReadWriteWeb says
Let’s look ahead to the future though – Google has released the button for inclusion on websites, you can see all these +1s on your Google profile, but again – what is your motivation for clicking +1? So your friends have a better search experience? Is this actually something you care about?
Simply providing a place for these +1 links to be aggregated still doesn’t give me a reason to click the button. I already have bookmarks. I already have ways to socially share with my friends. So what gives?
Frederic Lardinios at Newsgrange adds:
The real problem right now, tough, is that there are only so many buttons users can click on on any given site and unless they know where their recommendations go, chances are they won’t bother using this feature much.
With +1, your friends will see your “likes” on search results pages and on your Google Profile. I doubt that there is a lot of traffic to anybody’s Google Profile today, so why would I feel inclined to add more content to it? Instead, when I send a recommendation to Facebook or Twitter, I know exactly where it goes and who sees it.
Chances are, too, that my friends aren’t always looking for the same thing I do, so the chance of them actually seeing my +1 recommendations are pretty slim – making me even less inclined to use the button.
I realize that the pulse-pounding buzzword in the social world is social search but really I couldn’t care less about social search because the quality of search is already at such a low bar that the idea of it being social will only add to the useless noise. Not everyone is going to be shopping for that trip to Brazil your friend just +1’ed. Not everyone is going to be shopping for that fancy new washing machine that now tweets when it is finished just because your friend +1’ed it.
Google is not a social company. It isn’t in their DNA regardless of how many social media gurus they hire. I’ve tried Wave and I’ve tried Buzz and you know what – Wave has waved good-bye and I don’t use Buzz anymore. I’ve gotten more benefit from sharing in Google Reader than any other effort they have tried, at least when I’m not blocking 90% of the people (?) trying to follow me.
Google is a search and advertising platform company. They are a web engineering think tank and they are exceptionally good at that. That is their value but unfortunately in both case they are being distracted by all the cool buzzwords and their core businesses are showing it.
+1 image courtesy of The Next Web